MMDA chief: Nebrija’s suspension ‘not because of political pressure’
MANILA, Philippines — The suspension of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Task Force Special Operations Unit Head Col. Bong Nebrija is unrelated to political pressure, agency chief Romando Artes said Thursday.
Artes said Nebrija was suspended because he committed a series of mistakes.
“Gusto ko lang pong linawin na ‘yung pagsuspinde po ay hindi dahil sa political pressure o kung anuman, kundi dahil nagkamali po si Col. Bong Nebrija,” he said in an interview with DWPM.
(I just want to clarify that the suspension is not because of political pressure or anything but because Col. Bong Nebrija made a mistake.)
According to Artes, Nebrija violated data privacy, announced false information, and erred in implementing the MMDA policy.
“Unang-una niya pong pagkakamali, may data privacy tayo. Hindi po naman dapat ina-announce ang pangalan noong mga nahuli lalong-lalo na [sa] media,” he noted.
(His first mistake is that he forgot that we have data privacy. The names of those caught should not be announced, especially [in] the media.)
“Pangalawa, fake news po ‘yung na-announce na dalawa ni Bong Nebrija,” he added, referring to Nebrija’s announcement about the supposed apprehension of Senator Bong Revilla and former Ako Bicol Rep. Christopher Co for purported illegal use of the Edsa carousel busway.
(Secondly, the two announcements made by Bong Nebrija were fake news.)
“Pangatlo po, pinalampas niya. Sinabi po niya kasi na meron pong polisiya ang ahensya na kapag sakay ang Congressman o Senador ay pwedeng bigyan ng courtesy. Mali po iyon dahil kami po, ang pamunuan ng MMDA ay naninindigan na kung ano lang po ang exemption na binigay ng DOTr (Department of Transportation) na pwedeng dumaan diyan sa bus carousel, ‘yun lamang po ang pwede,” Artes also said.
(Third, he let the vehicles pass through. He said that the agency has a policy that a courtesy can be given when a Congressman or Senator is on board. That is wrong because we, the MMDA leadership, are adamant that the only exemption granted by the DOTr (Department of Transportation) that can pass through the bus carousel is the only one allowed.)
Nebrija is in hot water after reporting Senator Revilla illegally used the special bus lane on Edsa. Revilla vehemently denied it. Nebrija apologized to the senator for the mistake, but Revilla rejected it and called for his resignation.
Previously, the DOTr said the Edsa carousel busway should be limited to public utility buses, emergency vehicles, and marked government vehicles.
But Artes said in an interview at the Senate on Wednesday, November 15, that the exemption now includes the convoy of the President, Vice President, Senate President, House Speaker, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.